FAILURE (Day 10: The July “I Believe…” Challenge)

by Dani Fake Webb on July 10, 2010

Today’s Category: Failure

(If you’re new to this challenge, take a look at the intro video explaining the concept.
You can get more details on how to participate.
And click here for the daily categories.)

Failure. It’s a word that makes most people cringe.

As I ponder what to write about my belief about failure, I am aware of an internal cynicism. It seems to me that thoughts around failure have become a bit “platitude-ish.” (Yes, I make up words.)

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.”
“Failure is success if we learn from it.”
“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”

Ok. Great. So failure is a great thing to learn from. Failure is just a part of the deal, but keep trying. Failure teaches us.

So what?

Now, please don’t get me wrong. Do I believe all of those quotes? Absolutely I do.
Do I believe that failure is a gift in that it teaches us something, every time. Without a doubt.
Do I believe fear of failure can hold us back in our lives? Heck yeah!

So what’s up with the cynicism?

Because something is missing.
Of course failure teaches us something.
Of course giving up and never trying again is the travesty of failure.
Of course fear of failure can be a big barrier to growth.

Each of those things in its own right is worthy of exploration. So please hear me say that I believe those things about failure.

And here is what else I believe:
I believe these ideas can feel like platitudes if they are forced too soon upon a failure.
I believe many people do not allow space for the grief that comes with failure.
I believe we need to support one another in our failures with both the ideas expressed above and time for the emotional processing that goes along with failure.

sad_man

Failure can be a killer of hope, even if temporarily. And, folks, when you are messing with hope, you are treading on sacred ground.

The following is my “Failure Formula.” (Cynicism free.) 😀

Fail.
Feel.
Reflect.
Regroup.
Hope Again.

One more note: I’ve already stated that jumping to “everything is going to be just fine and look what I learned” is not sufficient.
~AND~
This post is not an excuse for anyone to wallow in the sorrow that can come with failure. You must reflect and regroup.

It’s both/and. Not either or.

Don’t platitude. Don’t wallow.

Fail.
Feel.
Reflect.
Regroup.
Hope Again.

Until next time, may you love  your life today.

Dani-Signature

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Dani Fake Webb is a coach, retreat facilitator, speaker, and writer. She is also the founder of Destination: Life!, a company dedicated to helping people discover their passion, live their purpose, and love their life.  If you want to learn more about living a fulfilled, purposeful life, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to the Destination: Life! E-Zine. Just click here: http://danifakewebb.com/newsletter. Or, contact Dani directly at info@danifakewebb.com.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Cain July 12, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Dani, I Love your points. I have been raised to look at failure as a learning experience (failing forward) and to just pick myself up, take notes of what I could have done better or differently and march forward. Basically “suck it up!” But there are times when in the experience of failure I do yearn to grieve and really feel the loss. In my rush to be a “big girl” and get over it I don’t always take the time to process it. So thank you for helping me see that in taking the time to feel the pain or disappointment I may be able to reflect a little more deeply helping me to regroup and possibly learn even more lessons.

Kristin Zetterholm July 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm
Mia July 13, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Great post, Dani. (I’m catching up with reading your posts, as I have been occupied in another almost-month-long group project so far.)

I totally get what you mean with the platitude factor. It’s a very good, beneficial thing to allow yourself to feel the pain of failure and all it entails. And like you said, not wallow in it, but at least feel it. I love the perspective you offer – because it’s so much healthier (imo) to profoundly feel a feeling (any feeling) than immediately reframe it. Reframing is a healthy & valuable thing too, but it can be an intellectual shortcut to avoid feeling the emotional content.

I hope to participate somewhat more actively in the 2nd half of the month…

Mia

Annie Wolfe July 16, 2010 at 12:15 pm

I believe embracing my failures, and myself in those failures, is one of the best ways I have learned to love.
I believe failing reminds me of great truths that I don’t see when in success.
I believe that failing gives us access to other hearts, and opens doors to share our lives.

I Believe that without coffee, failure would be part of my daily life :)

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